Concord, NH – Over 60 sponsors, supporters, community college representatives and community partners gathered at NHTI-Concord’s Community College on Friday, November 15 to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and to highlight the workforce successes and progress made by the ApprenticeshipNH program. This grant-funded initiative run by the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) helps address workforce needs in New Hampshire by partnering and developing apprenticeship program with local businesses throughout the state in targeted areas that are growing but are often challenged to fill open positions.
The program focuses on creating Registered Apprenticeship opportunities within the information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, automotive, biotechnology and infrastructure/construction sectors. Participants have the opportunity to earn while they learn by receiving classroom instruction and on the job training that can advance their skills to lead to new opportunities and higher pay.
Proclamations were submitted from Governor Chris Sununu and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan in support of National Apprenticeship Week. Additionally, ApprenticeshipNH Grant Manager Emily Zeien gave a program update and honored employers, community partners and apprentices participating in the program.
“Since the program’s launch in 2016, ApprenticeshipNH has worked with 35 New Hampshire businesses across the state and enrolled 202 individuals in apprenticeship programs,” said Zeien. “We’ve developed apprenticeship programs across five industries – healthcare, manufacturing, IT, construction and hospitality – representing 16 occupations. What’s truly worth noting is how the program has grown. We’ve almost doubled in size in the last year.” She expects that the program will enroll an additional 400 individuals over the next few years.
Catholic Medical Center (CMC) of Manchester and Spraying Systems, a nationwide manufacturing company based in Merrimack, were recognized for their dedication and partnership for the work-based learning model of the apprenticeship program.
In April 2018, CMC began its Medical Assistant (MA) apprenticeship program in partnership with Manchester Community College. CMC has hired 22 apprentices – and to this day, 21 of those are still working at CMC, giving the company a 95% retention rate amongst its MA apprentices.
In January 2018, Spraying Systems launched its first CNC (computer numerical control) machining apprenticeship program in partnership with Nashua Community College. Since starting its Registered Apprenticeship program, Spraying Systems has hired three apprentices and has added additional occupations for machine operators.
The event included special recognition of community partners Patricia (“Trish”) Myers, WIOA employment counselor at NH Works, and Bill Bissonette, career transition specialist at NH Job Corps, before continuing on to highlight two of the apprentices in the program: Tristan Chicoine and Jozimar Matimano.
Chicoine, a CNC apprentice at Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry, is a graduate of the Manchester School of Technology where he did an internship with Wire Belt because of years of interest in manufacturing. After graduating from high school, Chicoine got what he calls a “life changing” phone call from Wire Belt offering him a job as part of its new Registered Apprenticeship program. As an apprentice with Wire Belt, Chicoine is participating in classroom instruction at Nashua Community College in addition to participating in on-the-job training at the employer’s manufacturing facility.
Jozimar Matimano, a machine operator apprentice at Tecomet, Inc. in Manchester was hired by Tecomet in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the NH Job Corps program. Matimano is a new American who speaks English as a second language, and is a full-time student studying the arts in addition to working full time and taking classes as part of a Registered Apprenticeship program.
“The apprenticeship work we celebrate here in New Hampshire and across the country aligns with the mission, values and purpose of the Community College System of New Hampshire,” said Dr. Ross Gittell, CCSNH chancellor. “We’re committed to aligning our education and training programs with the workforce needs throughout the state and across a range of industries and with well-paying jobs and careers that support a high quality of life.”
Photo caption: A group of CCSNH staff with the awardees at the November 15 ApprenticeshipNH event. From left to right: Dr. Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire; Patricia (“Trish”) Myers, WIOA employment counselor at NH Works; Bill Bissonette, career transition specialist at NH Job Corps; Joe Ruelas, vice president of operations at Spraying Systems; Emily Gaudette, director of organizational development at Catholic Medical Center; Tristan; Emily Zeien, ApprenticeshipNH grant manager. Missing from photo: Jozimar Matimano.
The Community College System of NH (CCSNH), through funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, is leading efforts to enhance Registered Apprenticeship opportunities within the information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and infrastructure/construction sectors. This grant supports the development of new Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, provides funding for related instruction at NH’s community colleges, and supports outreach to employers who wish to expand work-based learning at their sites. Services will be coordinated with the WorkReadyNH program offered at NH’s community colleges, designed to help individuals build the necessary soft skills required for today’s workforce.
To help address the significant shortfall in the number of nurses in New Hampshire, River Valley Community College (RVCC) is launching a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program, with its first student cohort beginning January 21, 2020.